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Environmental Crime - State Environmental Laws

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State environmental laws

Many federal environmental laws require states to create state implementation (to carry into effect) plans (SIPs). SIPs describe a state's strategy for keeping in line with federal pollution laws. Both the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) require SIPs to stay with their guidelines.

In addition each state may pass its own environmental laws. Most state environmental laws and regulations are patterned after federal legislation. State laws must be at least as strict as federal laws. States may not pass legislation that lowers standards below federal requirements. States create laws to deal with issues unique to their regions. For example, states with beaches pass laws to protect them. Midwestern manufacturing states might pass environmental laws dealing with factory emissions released into the air, waste disposal in rivers, or laws controlling hazardous waste transportation on highways.

States, counties, and local communities generally have environmental quality departments and environmental crime investigation units, but their effectiveness varies depending on funding. They usually work closely with EPA agents, the DOJ, and the FBI.

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